Apple's Patent Portfolio Grows with the Addition of Another Multitouch Patent

By Ashok Bindra December 30, 2011

The Patently Apple site reported that the US Patent and Trademark Office has officially described another core iPhone multitouch patent, increasing the iPhone makers portfolio of patents. As per this report, the new multitouch related patent is based on the oscillator signal and circuit. It is key to sensing a touch event on a touch display, wrote Patently Apple.

According to Patently Apple, the growing arsenal of Apple patents will help the company in legal disputes against those vendors trying to copy iPhone and iPad designs. “It's one of the 200 patents that late Steve Jobs pointed to when launching the iPhone,” wrote Patently Apple.

As per the description, conventional touch panel technologies are limited to single point or touch event. But, in reality, multiple objects come into contact with the sensing surface. Hence, they lack the ability to track multiple points of contact at the same time. Also, many touch-panel devices use oscillating signals to power and clock electronic elements.

While there are several known methods of generating an oscillating signal, most of them do not provide a signal with precision and frequency predictability. Apple's granted patent corrects this problem. Apple said that they incorporate the content of several other major multitouch patents into this patent. Apple said, “In general, multi-touch panels may be able to detect multiple touches (touch events or contact points) that occur at or about the same time, and identify and track their locations.”

The Patently Apple report highlights a few major claims made by the company. It includes a method for tuning a local oscillator of an event-sensitive device, an event sensor device comprising a local oscillator circuit configured to generate an oscillating signal having a frequency at least partially based on an incoming control signal, and a calibration controller configured to modify a frequency of the oscillating signal by controlling the oscillating circuit.

Apple credits Thomas Wilson as the sole inventor of this patent which was originally filed in January 2007.




Ashok Bindra is a veteran writer and editor with more than 25 years of editorial experience covering RF/wireless technologies, semiconductors and power electronics. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Mist Applies AI to Improve Wi-Fi

By: Paula Bernier    11/9/2017

Mist has created an AI-driven wireless platform that puts the user and his or mobile device at the heart of the wireless network. Combining machine le…

Read More

International Tech Innovation Growing, Says Consumer Technology Association

By: Doug Mohney    11/8/2017

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is best known for the world's largest trade event, but the organization's reach is growing far beyond the CE…

Read More

Broadcom Makes Unsolicited $130B Bid for Qualcomm

By: Paula Bernier    11/6/2017

In what could result in the biggest tech deal in history, semiconductor company Broadcom has made an offer to buy Qualcomm for a whopping $130 billion…

Read More

How Google's 'Moonshot' Could Benefit Industrial Markets

By: Kayla Matthews    10/30/2017

The term "moonshot" encapsulates the spirit of technological achievement: an accomplishment so ambitious, so improbable, that it's equivalent to sendi…

Read More

After Cisco/Broadsoft, Who's Next for M&A?

By: Doug Mohney    10/27/2017

Cisco's trail of acquisition tears over the decades includes the Flip video camera, Cerent, Scientific Atlantic, Linksys, and a couple of others. The …

Read More